Rolling out the red carpet for the hospitality sector, just over a year before state goes to polls, the Akhilesh Yadav government is set to award a cash subsidy of Rs 10 crore to investors interested in setting up hotels in Uttar Pradesh.
This, combined with other incentives on offer in the proposed UP Tourism Policy-2016, is likely to draw in big players boost to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s plans to turn the state into a most sought after tourist destination.
The seriousness on the issue can be gauged from the fact that Akhilesh, for the first time, has planned to confer industry status to tourism sector in the proposed UP Tourism Policy, which is to be sent for approval and is likely to be cleared by state cabinet soon.
As per the proposed policy, state government will give 15 per cent of bank loan amount, with maximum limit of Rs 10 crore, for setting up hotels in the Buddhist Circuit and Bundelkhand region. For setting up hotels elsewhere in the state, the maximum limit of the amount will be Rs 7.50 crore.
Several other sops too are on offer for those willing to set up hotels. The state government will waive of the entertainment tax and luxury tax for five years. The machinery to be used in hotels will be made economical by reducing VAT by 30 per cent. The land conversion cost will also be waived of. The policy promises time bound processing of the proposals for setting up hotel and says all the necessary clearance will be granted in maximum 60 days.
“UP has large number of tourist attractions and the number of tourists visiting the state is increasing. The policy will offer guidelines and also incentives to those who promote tourism in the state,” Navneet Sehgal, principal secretary (Tourism) said.
The similar rate of cash incentive of 15 per cent of the total bank loan will also be applicable to entrepreneurs who are setting up entertainment, amusement or theme parks in the state.
Travel agencies will also be treated as tourism unit and promoted under the tourism policy. Travel agents who run buses and cars for tourists, tourist packages and guides at historical places will also be promoted by the state government with incentives to be decided later.
UP government had formulated tourism policy in 1998 but it was hardly implemented. Now, in 2016, a detailed policy has been planned, which includes various tourism activities as wayside amenities, tourist villages, theme and amusement parks, nature walk, city walk, heritage walk, cycle tours, traditional artisans’ haat, hotel management institute, paying guest accommodation, caravan, boat clubs, ropeways, hot air ballon tours, spa and resort, and a convention centre in area measuring upto 10,000 square feet.
UP ranks second in the country in terms visit of domestic tourists in a state with 29.09 lakh foreign tourists visiting state in 2014.
The Samajwadi Party government has already made changes in the existing film policy announcing upto Rs 2.5 crore subsidy based on the number of days a film is shot in the state.
A subsidy of Rs 1 crore is given if a filmmaker spends 50 per cent of the total number of dates allotted to shooting, in UP. The is doubled in case a filmmaker spends shoots 75 per cent of the total number of days the film was shot, in state.
Such filmamkers who return to UP to shoot another film are offered more incentives. A filmmaker shooting four films in UP can avail subsidy of Rs 2.5 crore for his last venture. If he comes back to shoot a fifth film here, the subsidy will be raised to Rs 2.75 crore.